Twelve Ways Technology Leaders Can Prevent Burnout

16 November, 2018 / Articles
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In an industry as fast-paced as technology, employees often need to devote long, taxing hours to their craft. When so many tech tasks are mission-critical, the last thing you need is for your team to hit a wall. The good news is there are steps you can take as a leader to make sure people remain happy and motivated to do their best work. Here’s how members of the Forbes Technology Council prevent employees from going overboard.

  1. Let Employees Manage Their Own Workflow

Every business has peak periods when you’re rushing to meet a deadline. During these times, it’s important for management to ensure that workers are empowered to focus on the tasks that matter most, with less urgent priorities sidelined until the priority work is complete. Make sure team members know they have the flexibility to manage their workflow and make independent judgment calls. – Nick ChandiPayPie

  1. Lead By Example

It can be easy to forget to take time for yourself, let alone remind your team to do the same. It’s important to lead by example. Take 30 minutes, an hour or a day to disconnect and make time for fun. Additionally, by doing things with your team outside of work — happy hours, sporting events, etc. — you can reinforce work-life balance and camaraderie. – Benjamin NguyenSidebench

  1. Foster A Collaborative Environment

It all comes down to management and team composition. If your manager is good at leading people, they will know when to give you a break. If the team is solid and based on companionship, loads will be distributed evenly and members will give each other a hand. It all comes down to a healthy environment — that makes a company last. – Nacho De MarcoBairesDev

  1. Require Vacation Time

It may seem counterintuitive, but we enforce a minimum vacation policy. If a team member hasn’t used their minimum time off by the end of the year, it must be taken then. It’s worked really well, as it has encouraged extremely hard workers to take the time they need and not feel like they’re jeopardizing their performance over it. Without exception, they come back stronger and more focused. – Allison Clift-JenningsFilament  

  1. Plan Projects Well From The Start

Acute planning at the beginning of any project can avoid burnout. Root causes of burnout tend to be poor or aggressive initial planning, underestimation of efforts, setting of expectations and change control management. Studies show burnout is real, and productivity and error rates increase exponentially the hotter the burn. Avoidance is the best recipe for staying onboard and for success. – Richard Van StatenQuantam Solutions

  1. Communicate About Burnout

Burnout is a serious concern in the technology industry. Often the brightest, most productive team members are the ones most susceptible to it. Managers and team leaders must constantly monitor and communicate with their team to recognize signs of burnout and adjust workloads to ensure each employee maintains a reasonable work-life balance. – Leon HounshellGreenwave Systems

  1. Teach Your Team To Pace Themselves

When you’re burned out, you’re not just exhausted, you’re often detached and ineffective at work. Think of it as a diet: If you binge for three weeks and then take a week off to eat healthily, you’re fooling yourself if you think you’ll lose all the weight you gained. It’s the same with burnout — even a vacation may not get an employee balanced. Make sure each team member can pace themselves. – Jared ShimoffNetWaiter

  1. Celebrate Every Milestone

It’s easy to move from one sprint to the next, followed by another release. Stop to reflect and celebrate after the launch of a new feature or functionality in your product, or a key client win or industry recognition. Take time to acknowledge the contributions of team members so that they understand how their input has impacted the organization’s success. – Kerry BianchiVisto

  1. Implement Team Bonding Activities

It’s easy, especially for tech people, to lose track of time. Before you know it, the burnout starts showing up. Organize team bonding activities on a regular basis. Participating in sports events is my favorite since you get some physical exercise as well. If you have a big team, you can organize a tournament within the company, or you can do it with other small companies. – Vikram Joshipulsd

  1. Create The Right Balance Between Different Project Types

Nowadays tech experts must be able to ship product changes as often as possible to stay competitive, while also keeping their focus on sustaining engineering. If the focus is on just one of those things, either too much technical debt will pile up or the product won’t be competitive. To avoid burnout, focus on finding the balance between sustaining engineering and shipping code frequently. – Ivailо NikolovSiteGround

  1. Give Them A Sense Of Purpose

If you work hard on something you don’t believe in, this is called “exploitation,” but if you work hard on something you do believe in wholeheartedly, this is called “inspiration.” Our way of engaging all employees, especially the technology experts, is to be as transparent as you can about the company goals and the role of each and every contributor in achieving them. – Leonid BelkindLuminate Security

  1. Remind Them That There’s More To Life Than Work

Our jobs are important. We have customers, employees and shareholders depending on us. But make sure that you and your employees have other passions. It doesn’t matter if it’s running, reading, child raising, photography, whatever. As long as each individual is as passionate about something outside of work as they are about their job, they will find the balance. – Kent DicksonYonomi

The science man and innovator, Fernando Fischmann, founder of Crystal Lagoons, recommends this article.

Forbes

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